Verdant Minerals completes environmental permitting for Ammaroo Phosphate Project
Verdant Minerals Ltd (ASX:VRM) has completed the environmental impact assessment process for its Ammaroo Phosphate Project in the Northern Territory. The company received approval of the project’s environmental impact assessment report from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NTEPA), marking the end of the environmental permitting process. Verdant is now focused on finalising native title mining agreements as well as obtaining mineral lease grants ahead of securing project development funding. Verdant managing director Chris Tziolis said this was a major milestone for the company and the Ammaroo project. He said: “The completion of the assessment process by the NTEPA provides Verdant with the regulatory baseline required to move the Ammaroo Project towards final mining authorisations and the attainment of statutory licences. “This marks the end of the most rigorous part of the approval and permitting process. “We will also now move on with the implementation and financing stage of the project, progressing toward a final investment decision.” READ: Verdant Minerals continues to progress Australia’s largest phosphate resource Ammaroo had already received Federal Government approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, as announced in June. The NTEPA has made further recommendations to inform the next phase of mining authorisation under the Northern Territory's Mining Management Act. It said that the proposal could be managed in a manner likely to meet NTEPA objectives and would avoid significant or unacceptable environmental impacts and risks. Overview of the environmental assessment and project authorisation process READ: Verdant Minerals progressing environmental impact assessment for Ammaroo Phosphate Project The company has completed a feasibility study for producing an initial 1 million tonnes per annum of phosphate rock concentrate, followed by a subsequent expansion to 2 million tonnes after year five. Ammaroo contains ultra-low cadmium rock, ideally suited as feedstock to produce phosphoric acid. The resource is shallow, free-digging, moderate grade phosphate ore resulting in very low mining costs. Verdant has developed a mine plan for 20 years of mining utilising less than 10% of the known resource. This is likely to expand to 50-plus years of operation. The regional exploration potential is significant and may underpin a major phosphate province.